Thursday, August 21, 2014

I just finished reading a short blog called "Dead at Noon".  It contains only 4 pages of text, and it was written by a woman about to commit suicide.

This woman, Gillian Bennet, suffered from dementia and, at the age of 85, decided to take her own life instead of slowly drifting off to a point where she no longer remembered anyone or anything.

I have this goal to live until I am 113.  When I was in 8th grade my hometown was having a Tricentennial celebration.  Part of the celebration was a story writing contest. The winner's story would be placed in a time capsule in the town center and would not be opened on the town's 400th birthday. I won that contest and vowed to stay alive to see it pulled from the vault... somewhere around my 113th birthday.

I want to live until I am 113, however I under no circumstance want to live that long if I am a burden on any one else.  I want to be myself at 113, not a body in a bed with no awareness of what I have done in my life or of those I love.

I'm only 26 now so maybe as I approach and older age my views may change, but I think what Gillian did was amazing. I find it honorable that she not only chose against becoming a burden on her family and her country, but she also got to choose the time, place, and location of her last breath.  She got to decide what she was wearing, what her last meal was, and who was by her side at the end.

I would consider myself lucky to live until 113, but I would consider myself far more lucky to be blessed with going out on my own terms.

Despite knowing that I was reading the words of someone who was recently gone, I felt nothing but happiness for her and her family.  We will a die at some point.  It is sad and it is painful and in many cases tragic, but as Gillian shows, it is possible to do it in a strong, dignified, wonderful way.

I've never really had a strong opinion on the topic.  When I think about old age I think to think of myself as an awesome sassy old lady that tells way too many stories but is too awesome for anyone to hold it against her.  That would of course be ideal, but when the time comes that I feel like I can't be the awesomely sassy little old lady, I hope that I might be as strong as Gillian.

Oh, I'd also throw a kick ass party before I go.

1 comment:

  1. i just read the blog too - i thought she wrote it beautifully - eery at some point to me, but still she wrote it beautifully about her decision to terminating her life. i think it takes so much courage to have that kind of decision. i don't say it's right or wrong about her decision not to be a burden to her family and her country - i just don't think myself has that amount of courage to do the same as her if i were in her position :p but you're right. maybe as the time goes by our review about ourselves will evolve too. one thing that i know about death is that it's the most certain thing in this world. it's something that's guaranteed you will have and it can come to you at any time, any place. but as a human, i almost always forget i will die one day.